With all of the Week 13 NFL action officially in the books, it's time to look around at the Power Rankings across the internet and see what their impressions are of the Minnesota Vikings. With another victory in the books, allowing the Vikings to match their victory total from last season, you would expect a small upward trend for our favorite football team. Then again, the team that they beat isn't terribly good, as the Carolina Panthers' loss to the Vikings ran their winless streak to seven games (six losses with a tie thrown in).
How does it all shake out for our favorite football team? Well, here is the numerical data for this week:
|Average Ranking (Number of Rankings)||22.625 (8)|
|Average Change from Last Week||+0.875|
|Highest Ranking (Source)||20 (Fox Sports)|
|Lowest Ranking (Source)||24 (4 different sources)|
|Biggest Positive/Smallest Negative Change (Source)||+2 (3 different sources)|
|Largest Negative/Smallest Positive Change (Source)||-1 (Yahoo!)|
And your still non-embiggenable graphical representation of the rankings:
Yes, the folks from Yahoo! decided that a victory was worth a one-spot drop. I don't understand it, either.
So, what's everyone saying? Let's take a look at the roundup.
SB Nation: 21st (Last week: 22nd)
No team-specific commentary
SI.com: N/A (Last week: 22nd)
You know, I really wish SI would do their damn Power Rankings at the same damn time as everyone else.
Fox Sports: 20th (Last week: 22nd)
Teddy Bridgewater's play continues to trend upwards and the defense is starting to click in Mike Zimmer's scheme. The team will need Sharrif Floyd and Anthony Barr's injuries to prove minor if they want to keep up their momentum to close out the season.
USA Today: 24th (Last week: 24th)
With his units blocking two punts for TDs and nicely covering kicks, it's clear why Vikes wanted to retain special teams guru Mike Priefer.
Yahoo! Shutdown Corner: 23rd (Last week: 22nd)
I keep thinking Cordarrelle Patterson is too talented to not play at all for this team. He played just three snaps on Sunday. Then I also understand that the coaches know what he brings to the table and know what else the Vikings have at the position, and they've decided not to play him much.
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports: 21st (Last week: 23rd)
I got to hand it to Teddy Bridgewater. He isn't just taking his rookie lumps but he's starting to dish it out. Mike Zimmer has done a masterful job with this defense and this team will be contenders in 2015.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 24th (Last week: 26th)
If you haven't watched this team, they have some good, young players to build around. Everson Griffen is one of them.
ESPN: 24th (Last week: 24th)
Elias tells us that Sunday was the fourth time a team had two blocked punt return touchdowns in a half and the first time it happened since the Ford administration (1975).
NFL.com: 24th (Last week: 24th)
Minnesota's blowout win might have been the one game most people didn't seem to notice on Sunday. First off, Mike Zimmer deserves some credit for the job he's done in Year 1. Moreover, give the Vikes the Bill James Stat of the Week: After not returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in 28 years, Minnesota notched one in the first quarter. Then, the very next time the Panthers punted, the Vikings blocked it again -- and also returned it for a touchdown.
In case you were wondering, Issiac Holt blocked that punt back in '86. Holt was the only Viking to remain with the Cowboys as part of the infamous Herschel Walker deal and win a Super Bowl ring. All the other guys were let go immediately or dealt. Another long-time assistant -- like Zimmer -- made his head-coaching debut in Minnesota that year: Jerry Burns. Burns took the team to the postseason in 1987, '88 and '89.
Given everything that's happened with the Vikings this season so far, I'd have to say that Mike Zimmer has done a hell of a job. And, yes, I have a pretty good feeling that 2015 is going to be a lot more fun than 2014. . .it's just a damn shame that we have to wait so long to get there.
But that's the Power Rankings Roundup for this week, ladies and gentlemen. We'll have to see which direction the team is moving in after this Sunday's game against the New York Jets.